HONOLULU (KHON2) — With about eight months left in office, Gov. David Ige spoke about his plans both during and after his tenure. He also talked about moving past the pandemic.

The governor said he does not see the new BA.2 variant as a big concern mainly because Hawaii has such a high vaccination rate. But he says the state is taking some new precautions.

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Ige said the state has started a sewage surveillance program which has shown that the variant is present on Kauai. He said the program gives health officials a four to 10 day heads up that the variant is present and determines which communities are highly infected.

“That would allow us to alert people to be a little more vigilant in wearing their mask and maintaining physical distancing,” said Ige.

Looking back on the last two years he said he’s proud that Hawaii has been among the lowest in infection and fatality rates as well as hospitalizations. And he wouldn’t have done anything differently.

As for the rest of his time in office, Ige’s priority is building more affordable housing projects to ease homelessness.

When he leaves office, he said he’s not sure if he’ll stay in politics. He does like the idea that’s being thrown around that a candidate running for governor should be able to choose their running mate.

“I think it would be helpful to ensure that the governor has a lieutenant governor that they can select and work with,” said Ige.

He added that he doesn’t think voters would like the idea because it takes away their choice.

Ige stated he’ll take some time off to travel after leaving office. And will even consider going back to school to pursue his earlier passion before politics, electrical engineering.

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“There’s a lot of things that have occurred in electrical engineering, cyber security software development, that is a personal interest I certainly could see myself going back to school for,” he said.